“I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. I want you to act. I want you to act as you would in a crisis. I want you to act as if the house is on fire, because it is.” Stirring words from Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg.
Our world is in peril. We are facing more frequent and more intense droughts, storms and heat waves. Sea levels are rising, glaciers are melting and the oceans are warming, endangering the world’s ecosystems, and massively impacting human livelihoods and communities. Climate change threatens us all. Are you doing your bit to save our planet?
But wait. Our planet? The Bible says “The earth is the Lord’s” (Psalm 24:1). Yes, God gave human beings the responsibility to care for the planet, but we are merely stewards, not owners. This is not our planet. Human pollution hasn’t just trashed “our children’s future” – it has trashed God’s earth.
But here’s what you won’t hear on the news. Alarming though it is, the pollution in the oceans is actually way less serious than the pollution in our hearts. The fact is, long before the invention of plastic and the diesel engine, we humans were polluting the world by open and knowing rebellion against our maker, God. We breathe God’s free air, only to turn it blue with our coarse and intemperate speech. Jesus said, “…the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these things defile a person. For out of the heart come evil ideas, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander” (Bible, Matthew 15:18-19).
Which means today is the time to act. Each of our brief personal lives on this fragile planet is fast running out. Soon we will die and meet the God against whom we have sinned. Our lives of pleasure-seeking will appear infinitely worse than any mountain of toxic waste when we stand in front of God on the day of judgment. This has to be the main issue; for even if you could somehow preserve this fragile planet for a few more generations, what good will it do you if you die in your sins, unready to meet God?
Humanity’s efforts to keep the planet clean and safe are noble and welcome, but as far as the problem of personal human guilt in the sight of God is concerned, the Bible is clear: you can do nothing to save yourself. The root problem of your sin cannot be fixed by therapy, mindfulness or even religion. Your guilt can only be cleared by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ – the sinless Son of God – who died on the cross 2,000 years ago for our sins and rose again from the dead, as proof of His power to save.
The Bible says “He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5). “For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly…But God demonstrates his own love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:6-8).
Right now, give up any hope of making yourself acceptable to God by self-effort and self-improvement and, owning that you are helplessly lost, receive the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). Act as you would in a crisis. Act as if you were in danger, because you are.
Michael J. Penfold – 07849 882702 or email@example.com